A Century of Art and Art History at SJSU

A Century of Art and Art History at SJSU

A Century of Art and Art History at SJSU

Wayne Thiebaud, County City, 1988. Color soft ground etching with drypoint and aquatint on paper, Ed. 39/60. 21-1/2 x 31-1/2 inches. Collection of the San Jose Museum of Art. Gift of John and Lynn Battenberg. 1998.21.02. Photography by Douglas Sandberg

There is perhaps no better way to visualize creativity and innovation at SJSU than through the lens of the Department of Art and Art History, which is preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Professor Jo Farb Hernandez is beginning to curate an exhibition featuring works by artists who studied here. Have something to share? Read on. Hernandez sent the following note to art alumni.


I am coordinating and curating an exhibition that will celebrate a centennial of students who have passed through the Department of Art (in all its incarnations and names); this will be a multi-pronged project that will take place in fall 2013 at San Jose’s City Hall galleries as well as at the Thompson Gallery in the art building on campus. We are exploring other optional venues as well, which we may need depending on the size of the project. The parameters for this exhibition are fairly loose; we will review work by all students who studied art here, even if they did not end up majoring in one of our programs, and even if they did not graduate. We are encompassing our entire history: 1911 through the present.

I am requesting your help in two ways: 1) to bring us up to date on your own activities as an artist or designer, providing us with your contact information and information on your current work, and 2) to forward information about this project to your colleagues who may not have graduated, and thus who may not appear in the alumni lists. If some of your colleagues have passed on, we would be pleased to discuss this project with their next of kin.

Obviously, we will have greater access to students who attended SJSU during the past three or four decades rather than those took classes in the early years, but we’d like to cast as wide a net as possible. Our alumni list primarily includes those who graduated, and we do have an illustrious list of those who didn’t make it through the entire program. We are also hitting old yearbooks, old newspapers, the archives at the SJ Historical and Art Museums, etc., etc., but any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Our timeline is to have the list of artists and their contact information, ideally with some idea of the kind of work they are now doing or have done, before the end of this current semester. We will then spend spring semester doing research on those who are selected to be in the exhibition, create a documentary exhibition catalog over the summer, and produce the exhibition and catalog next fall.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions that you might have about this centennial project.

Jo Farb Hernandez, Professor and Director
Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery
(408) 924-4328